Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $337,700)
San Joaquin County (SJC) is one of the fastest growing counties in California. High levels of violence, technological scarcities, and mounting prosecutorial caseloads necessitate a coordinated, data-driven response to escalating levels of gun violence. To date, there is no gun violence data collection system to collate, manage, and distribute ballistics and other shooting incident information in real time and in a user-friendly format accessible to San Joaquin County District Attorney Office (SJCDAO) staff and law enforcement agencies for utilization in investigations and prosecution-related decisions. Further lacking are the technical tools to alert prosecutors and investigators of key firearm-related events in real time. The current lack of a countywide, Shooting Incident Database and subsequent key event alert system makes proactive prosecution challenging and reduction efforts difficult. Without a firm foundation of the extent of the problem, practical solutions and timely interventions are stymied.
The SJCDAO is seeking funds to create and maintain a robust database to track shootings and incidents of gun violence throughout the county. A centralized Shooting Incident Database supports the county’s efforts to track the use of weapons between places and people and build cases against the criminal enterprises that use weapons as tools in complex transactions to traffic individuals, sell drugs, and harm people. As a complement to the proposed Shooting Incident Database, the SJCDAO is also seeking to create an Arrest Alert System (AAS). The AAS will create customized alerts, driven by the arrestee’s unique fingerprint, that notify prosecutors and investigators of bookings at the county jail involving specific individuals, charges, or locations associated with gun violence. By swiftly alerting prosecutors and detectives of high-priority arrests, the system ensures that prosecutors and investigators have detailed and updated information to intercede and prevent retaliatory crime, negotiate cooperation in investigations, and support the prosecution and conviction of those who commit harm and violence.
This grant offers tremendous opportunities to strengthen partnerships to reduce gun violence in SJC by enhancing our capacity to use intelligence, technology, and collaboration to identify unlawfully used and obtained firearms and effectively prosecute those individuals engaged in violent crime. This data-driven, strategic approach to addressing gun violence utilizes evidence-based practices to target investigative resources and enhance prosecution awareness.